Stranger

Stranger

A Story by Moonflower
"

Finally finished, rough draft.

"

 I've tried to write this story a million times, I'm starting to think it will never come out right, I will never capture these moments in writing, even though they are forever engraved in my mind. The memory has faded some, the events of the day, the feel of sunlight on my shoulder, but his face remains, vivid and all too real, too material for the story that so eerily unfolded that odd, fall day of my childhood.

 

 

 

 It started out as any other day, I woke up before dawn, ate some cereal before school and ran to the bus, almost late, as usual. The bus driver shook her head at me as I tramped my way up the stairs, lugging my back pack on one shoulder. I was in the sixth grade and we were living in some trailer park out in Brandenburg, Kentucky. It was miles from where I had grown up in Lietchfield, I missed my home and my friends. I didn't like the half run down trailer that we lived in, next door to our snotty, jehovah witness neighbors with their nice mobile home and nice things. I was jealous of them, it was hard to hide.

 The school day wasn't any different from the norm, boring and slow, my eyes drooping as the time dragged on, minute by minute. It was one of those days where I was either watching the clock or dozing off. It wasn't until half way through the school day that things changed so abruptly, our world spinning out of control so easily, within a matter of minutes.

 The phone on the teacher's desk rang twice, she picked it up and whispered quickly, then got up and practically ran out of the room. She returned moments later, looking pale, panic stricken. She wringed her hands as she announced the news.

  "Some thing has happened, some thing terrible. The United States has just been bombed, we're turning on the news..." She looked miserable, telling this dark and ominous news to her young sixth grade class, I pitied her as she turned on the television, searching frantically for a news channel.

 The class gasped, a few girls sobbed in the back. Some one shouted.

 

  "I have family in New York!", They said, disheartedly.

 

 I stared at the screen, wide eyed, my mind raced with conclusions, observations, then faltered. I didn't know what to think, what did this mean? Were we at war now? I was afraid of the future.

Phones started ringing off the hook, Mothers wanted their children home, worried teachers rushed back and forth, students chattered, letting their imaginations fly. I sat quietly, listening to the panic in other's voices, watching my teacher try to organize the class. My mind was blank, empty.

 

  "Desiree, go to the office, your mother is here to pick you up" She said, looking at me with empathetic eyes. I smiled at her, still pitying her role here.

 

  "Okay" I said, jumping out of my seat and grabbing my things. I hoped that things weren't too bad, that mom was just worried and letting us out of school early to be with her.

 

 She was standing in front of the office when I got there, her hair a tangled mess, make up smeared across her cheeks. My heart sank. I smiled at her, she grinned, evilly.

 We made our way to the parking lot, with each stomping step she weezed, some sort of glazy lotion caked onto her face, filling the wrinkle lines with white. There was a hint of blood beneath one nostril. I cringed at the sight of her, putting my head down to hide the disgust, my stomach broiled.

 Megan and Luke were in the car, she had picked me up last. I wondered what was going to happen today. They looked confused and forlorn, I waved at them, trying to work up a smile. We all knew we were in for the long haul today, there would be no peace. They looked down, fumbling with the radio and then fighting about the station.

 I hopped in the back with them, no one wanted to be too close to our mother in this state, we all knew it. She slammed her door shut and started the engine, it rumbled a bit as she lit her cigarrette, coughing at the end of each puff.

 

  "Those God Damn people have been chasing me all day! I ran three red lights and lost them, I know they wired the car, but I got it out!" She seethed, words slithering through her clenched teeth. I looked up at the wires that she had ruthlessly pulled out of the ceiling, the mirror dangled above our heads.

 

  "Those mother f*****g b******s will NEVER, ever catch me. They'll burn in hell before they do that....mhmmm...yeah" She said, puffing on her smoke between words.

 

 I kept my eyes down, nodding in agreement.

 She took a sharp turn onto the highway, pushing the petal and speeding way above the limit. I kept my eyes squeezed shut, my heart racing wildly in my chest. She turned up the volume on the radio, it thundered in my ears.

 She passed up the exit that lead to Leitchfield, I didn't know where we were going. I watched her from the passenger seat as she puffed her cigarrette, spewing out strange situations and obscenities. I tried not to question her, afraid that it might make her angry. Megan and Luke sat in the back seat quietly, looking out the windows.

 

I drifted off.

 

 

"Beeeeep!!!!" I jumped in my seat, startled awake. Mom was pounding on the horn, rage encrusted in her face, screaming.

 

"F**k you!" She screeched, I slid back down into my seat, confused and distraught. I was sure that she had almost caused a wreck, speeding down off the ramp and into the busy streets of Louisville, she couldn't push these people around like she did in the country, they were almost as crazy as she was.

 

 "Stupid f*****g a*s holes, rot in hell!!" She slammed on her brakes, the squealed in resistance. I put my hands up to my ears, humming to block out the chaos. I wondered what we were doing all the way out here. She finally made it through the four way, speeding up and running the next stop sign, some one honked, she flipped them off.

 

 We sped across Louisville, passing every other stoplight. I didn't understand how we weren't getting pulled over. She rambled on next to me about dad and his cheating ways and I started to assume that we were going to his work, where she would raise hell, maybe even get him fired.

 

  "That little f*****g w***e, I'm gonna kill him" She hissed between her teeth, then took a long drag of her marlboro, the smoke filled the car, choking me. I started coughing.

 

  "Mom, shouldn't you slow down?" I asked quietly, barely audible above the booming music.

 

  "NO! I've got to catch this sneaky mother f****r at his game" She said, speeding up even more. My heart pounded, watching the city blur by, the wind whipping at my face and hair, I tried not to scream.

 

 We pulled up to my dad's work within minutes, screeching to a halt in the parking lot. She flicked her cigarrette at another car, laughing hysterically.

 

  "We got'em now. You thought you'd get away with it, didn't you. But ohh no, you ain't getting one over on ME again!" She screamed, letting her voice carry through the lot, people stopped, staring at her with confused and appalled looks on their faces. I scrunched down in my seat, cheeks burning.

 

  "F**k you!! Whooore!" She bellowed as she laid on the horn. Her face was a smeared mess of ash and lipstick, her bangs plastered to her forehead and matted with sweat and dirt. Her clothes were too small, embedding into her skin and fat, which popped out in various places, exposing her stomach and bottom.

 

 She honked her horn a few more times, laughing like a rabid jackal and flipping off random strangers, then got back in the car, slamming her door shut and doing a donut before she sped away, her three children in tow. I knew the spectacle she had just created would cause an uproar at his work, he would know immediately that it was her, but keep his head down and try to remain unnoticed. Hopefully he would still have his job when we picked him up in a few hours. I sighed, leaning at the window and looking back at the building. People were still stopped, staring stupidly as we retreated.

 

 I looked back at Megan and Luke, huddled into one corner of the back seat, their eyes wide and confused. I smiled at them, trying to reassure them that things were alright, but we all knew this wouldn't be a good day, that she may very well be in jail or the hospital by the end of it. I kind of hoped that they would catch her soon and take us to our grandmother's where we could have some peace and solitude. I was so tired already and the day had just begun.

 We made our way through Louisville, rampaging through gas stations and countless stores where she would buy the most random and useless things that you could find. She wrote bad checks and used my dad's credit cards, slicing through money like it was butter. I kept my head down and stayed quiet, keeping close to my siblings, making sure they were okay. I could feel the rings around my eyes, my stomach rumbled, it was only two o'clock and my dad wouldn't be off work until six.

 We found ourselves in a little section of Louisville called German Town, it was kind of on the outskirts, we had already traveled through the whole city, this was the last stop. Mom had quieted down a bit and was going the speed limit, puffing her cigarrettes lightly and talking about how she lived in this part of Louisville for a while, when she was young. She had told us about the house before, where she had gotten drunk for the first time at seven years old, she was wearing roller skates and had passed out in the grass.

 We were driving down the little main street when she decided to pull over, a bunch of people were standing around, near a brick building, maybe waiting for a bus. She leaned over me and shouted out the window at them.

 

  "Hey, you!" She said, pointing to a guy that was standing by the light post. He stood with his hands shoved in his pockets, looking straight ahead. He wore a red and black long sleeve flannel and some light blue jeans with dark brown boots. His face was smooth and young looking, he might have been in his late twenties. He had short, strawberry blonde hair and a slight beard just on his chin, he smiled as he walked towards us.

 

  "Hello, can I help you with something?" He said politely, leaning over a bit and looking at my mother, he glanced back at Megan and Luke.

 

  "Yeah, I was just wondering if you need a cigarrette. You look like you need one" She said in her harsh voice, coughing between sentences. I watched his face, waiting for the reaction.

 

  "Well, sure. I could use one, thank you, ma'am." He said, I smiled at him, meeting his gaze. His eyes penetrated into mine, a shocking blue, almost unreal. I gasped.

 

  "What, are you waiting for the bus? I can give you a ride, you need a ride?" She asked, almost interrogating him with her questions. I didn't know why she was doing this, what her motive was, but I liked the polite stranger and didn't mind him coming along, I was more afraid of my mother and the impression she would leave on him, I didn't want her to scare him.

 

  "Yeah, Okay. Thank you very much, I appreciate it." He said, helping me to open the door. I hopped out with a toothy grin, closing the door for him and then scrambling into the back.

 I put on my seatbelt and glanced at Megan, she was staring at our new friend with wide eyed curiousity. I smiled, a small glimmer of hope forming in my mind, maybe this wouldn't be so bad today, maybe he could help. He looked back at us and smiled, waving his hand. We giggled back.

 

  "Hello, My name is Jadon. What are your names?"  He said to us, I was amazed at the way he spoke, so elegant and natural, completely unlike our harsh, southern accents. I felt self concious, keeping my head down and fumbling with my finger tips.

 

  "I'm Megan!" Said my sister, raising her hand and grinning at him. She was always more outgoing than me.

 

  "My name is Luke." He replied, squirming in his seat, he never sat still, even for a moment.

 

  "Desiree" I said quietly, giving him a small smile. He looked at me and then back to my mother. She grinned at him, looking almost evil in her manic state. I cringed inside, but didn't see him flinch. I folded my hands across my lap and tried to relax.

 Megan chattered on to Jadon, telling him about her friends at school and where our dad worked, Luke chiming in from time to time, trying to gain some attention. I sat in the middle quietly, observing the situation, wondering what was going to happen next. I saw him look at me, that odd look in his eyes that I would see from adults time to time,almost  like he understood me and what was happening.

 

  "This is the street I lived on" My mother said, turning onto a small, homey looking road. Houses all lined in a row, children playing on side walks, it looked so nice and warm. I wanted to get out of the car and join the children, they looked happy and carefree.

 

  "This is very nice, Windy" He said, nodding and smiling at the people as we drove by. She pulled up in front of a small, blue house and parked. We all watched as she got out of the car and stamped up to the front door. She knocked, heavily, I could hear it from where we sat, I stared on, horrified that things might go terribly wrong.

 An short, elderly woman opened the door, looking a bit startled. I saw them exchange a few words. My mother pointed towards the car and then looked back at her, she shook her head. I watched as Mom trudged towards us, seething.

 

  "Lets just go now." Said Jadon, in a very soothing manner, it caught me off gaurd, I had never seen a stranger try to calm her.

 

  "F**k'em, they'll all rot in Hell!" She said, slamming the door and revving the engine a few times. I squinted my eyes shut, fear rising in my stomach.

 

  "Now, you know that we can't judge that, Windy. That's for God to judge." He replied, so calmly. I opened my eyes, watching for her reaction. She was a very christian woman, in her normal state, and I silently hoped that she would listen.

 

  "You know what, Jadon. You're right. Let God take care of them. All I have is myself, in this world. Myself and God. You're a smart man, you know that?" She said, in an almost sarcastic way. I knew she was trying to be sincere, it was hard for her to calm down in this state, but I could see the gears turning, the darkness fading a bit in her eyes.

 

  "Now, I think the children are hungry. We might need to stop and get them something before I go." He said to her, smiling politely and glancing to us. She grinned back, puffing at her cigarrette lightly.

 

  "Where do you guys want to go?" She asked us, her wide eyes glaring back at us, we all looked at one another and grinned.

 

  "White castle!" Megan and Luke hummed in unison. I laughed at them and broke a smile.

 

  "Lets go." Mom said, putting the car in gear and screeching away. We sat back in our seats, glad to have Jadon along today, it had really helped us relax and had probably kept our mother out of jail.

 

 

 

 We ate our white castles on the road, Mom had decided she wanted to take Jadon to our grandfather's grave site before he had to go. I wondered where we were taking him and if we could ever see him again. Mom turned up the radio and we all sat quietly, looking out the windows. I watched the city go by, various trees with dieing leaves, various people with dieing hearts. I looked at them, sympathetically, the world seemed so dark at times, everyone was desperate.

 We pulled up to a little garden shop on the side of the road, a little wooden building with plants sprouting out from pots and decorations. Mom went to get out and Megan and Luke followed, chattering along behind her. Jadon sat in the passenger seat, looking out the window, his right arm resting on the door, he seemed relaxed, comfortable. His face was smooth and pale, almost gleaming in the near evening light, his sharp blue eyes stared out into some unkown distance, never wavering in that steady gaze. I wanted to say something, but then felt awkward and insignificant. He was so wise and beautiful to me, I looked down, nervously.

 

  "I'm going to see whats taking them so long." I said, he glanced at me and then went back to looking out the window, seemingly lost in thought. I scooted over to the door and got out, then turned back to him, not wanting to be so awkward. I smiled.

 

  "I'll be rii..." My words faded, my mouth hanging open awkwardly. My body tingled, ears prickling. I felt my heart rate rise to fast, thumping beats, vibrating in my chest. I didn't want to breathe, didn't want to move. My eyes widened, staring at the empty seat. My thoughts jumbling and contorting into silence. Nothing.

 There was no one there, the words that had been directed at a certain person were held in suspense, hanging on the tip of my tongue. What had just happened? I couldn't even think these thoughts, ask these questions. My body twisted, involuntarily and ran for the door, my Mother and siblings were walking out, I ran into my mothers bulging belly and bounced back, still in a state of surreal shock. Everything seemed fuzzy and odd, like when your foot is asleep, accept it was my whole body, including my mind.

 

  "Where is Jadon?" Asked Mom, peering around and then looking down at me. I stared at her, confused and silent. My eyes searched hers as I tried to work out the answer in my brain. Only one thought came out coherently enough for me to speak.

 

  "He disappeared." I said, bluntly. I stood there, my arms hanging at my sides limply. What else could have happened? There wasn't enough time between my closing the door and looking back into the car, for him to jump out and run away without me at least hearing his foot steps, much less the closing of his door. Nothing happened. He was just gone.

 

 

© 2010 Moonflower


Author's Note

Moonflower
Jadon is a Hebrew name meaning "thankful" (according to Strong's Concordance) or "he will judge"[1]. It appears in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament as the name of Jadon the Meronothite, one of the builders of the wall of Jerusalem in the Book of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 3:7).

According to Flavius Josephus, Jadon is the name of a minor prophet in his Antiquities of the Jews VIII,8,5. In the Hebrew Bible it is referred to as the man of God (1 Kings 13:1). In the Lives of the Prophets he is called Joad. A Rabbinic tradition identifies him with Iddo.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Reviews

damn, you put the surprise element too well i almost felt shocked with everything,
this was damn good...

Posted 8 Years Ago


I really enjoyed this story. I was born and raised in NY and I was not far away when the towers hit. This was a great story.

Posted 8 Years Ago


A story full of surprises. At first I was wary of the character Jadon, but quickly it appeared that his intentions were noble. This story is inspiring in the statement of a belief in good, in intervention for the better. Although flavored with biblical reference I see it as a story anyone can relate to. Nicely done, and enjoyable to read...

Posted 9 Years Ago


You should absolutetly continue on this story. It is real good just a bit heavy because if the detai. But this is my taste. It could be a terrific chapter in a book. My take anyway.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Your most engrossing and striking narrative yet. The triangulation of 9/11, coke-addled trailer mom, mysterious biblical prophet is a sure-handed cake slice through a big chunk of Americana heightened by an historically indelible crisis.

You pull solace right out of the Bible pages in supernatural person, fitting right into what will calm the teetering leader of the brood. Interesting that its the Old Testament, rather than the New, given the Christian fabric.

It is particularly poignant filtered through your sensitive, very young, and intelligent narrator self, a dear girl who just wants to get through the day w/a little peace, and this day the darkest in collective modern U.S. history paralleling an addled mom threatening to throw the whole hapless brood into additional turmoil.

Even with an uncertain calibration as to autobiographical and fictive elements, you and your younger alter ego come across as soulful and heroic.

The sudden disappearance of Jadon speaks to the precise nature of his intervention: calming disturbance on an especially dark day.

Powerful and impressive.

Posted 9 Years Ago


I can totally relate with this story. The fear of what is going to happen next, hoping it wont be the hospital or worst. You pictured it vividly. I also like that it happens on 9/11, and that you only mention it at the beginning, because it shows so well how much your whole world turns upside down and surreal during those moments. The level of stress it brings just takes you to another reality, and that's one of the most painful things as a child to experience, when the next day you have to go to school like nothing happened, and you realize every other child most likely just had a "normal" evening, and nobody realizes what you just had to live.
This Jadon is a savior, even for an afternoon, I've hoped would somehow show up every time a moment like this happened. So I like the way he disapears, because it's like he almost was a product of your imagination. I used to wish so strongly for that, that I could have just ended seeing a phantom myself ;)

Well, that was very touching to me.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Amazing to think that while the world was fixed on New York, your world was just as dark. A terrible ordeal for any child... I wonder do you mean this as a chapter or completed story. As others have noted, it feels incomplete. Hope you get a chance to write more to it...

Posted 9 Years Ago


I like this. Is there more?


Posted 9 Years Ago


wow. keep it up its great.


Posted 9 Years Ago


This story had a lot of suspense. The scenes were very dynamic.
It did seem to end with little resolution, but your story telling skills
are superb.

Posted 9 Years Ago



First Page first
Previous Page prev
1
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

596 Views
15 Reviews
Rating
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on August 20, 2010
Last Updated on August 29, 2010

Author

Moonflower
Moonflower

Louisville, KY



About
Hello :) My name is Desiree. What brings me to this website is my love for poetry and storytelling. At this time I consider myself more of a poet, than a writer or author. I do not have the pa.. more..

Writing
New New

A Poem by Moonflower


Sheets Sheets

A Poem by Moonflower



Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..


Gasoline Gasoline

A Poem by Muse